Monday, 26 February 2018

Graveyard of Bikes Problem.

Related image
Hangzhou's bike "graveyard".
Tens of thousands of shared bikes parked on an empty field in Hangzhou City, capital of East China’s Zhejiang Province, June 26, 2017. Hangzhou authorities have temporarily suspended the use of more than 20,000 shared bikes found in violation of traffic rules, including improper parking. Companies that own the bikes have not been active in getting them back. (Photo/VCG)

Firstly, what is the problem? Users are not parking the bikes properly? What is "properly" when there is no space? What is properly when all lots have been taken up or all the space in the yellow box is filled up? Want the Bike Sharing Companies to build docking stations? For how many bikes? Say they build 20 at a location, but 40 bikes come and need space to park. Or they build 10 docks and there are NO bikes there, but the docks continue to take up space even when empty. The problem is that there are TOO MANY so-called SHARED BIKES.

Why? Because the manufacturers of these bikes are making money making and selling bikes to Bike Sharing Co. Ironically, I saw this on one of the shared bikes: "Consume less. Share more."

Except "bike sharing" ISN'T sharing. It's renting.

Sunday, 11 February 2018

Unthinking in the internet age

There was this news article about a Malaysia actor who posted a photo of his 12-year-old daughter on Instagram. Then, he got emails with marriage proposals for his daughter.

Wednesday, 7 February 2018

Patriots Act

You may have heard that Singaporeans rated Singapore the 31st most exciting city out of 32 cities.

But there's another survey by YouGov on 19 countries and the views of people in the countries in Oct 2016.

One of the question was how patriotic the respondents felt. Or rather they were asked if they thought that their country was the best in the world.

The country with the most people answering patriotically is... (drumroll)...


41% of the over 1000 respondents said that "My country is the Best Country in the World".

Another 32% responded that "My country is better than most other".

Sunday, 28 January 2018

How to solve the bike sharing mess

One foreigner (Bulgarian) was civic minded enough to try to to solve the problem of the bike sharing mess.

Bulgarian living here rounds up Singapore’s damaged rental bikes 
... Mr Girginov’s Volunteer Bike Patrol initiative has taken off, collecting over 400 damaged bikes in about seven trips.
The group gathers the broken bicycles in one neighbourhood, moving them to a central location. Mr Girginov then rents a lorry for S$200 a trip to pick up and carry the bikes back.
Mr Girginov has funded the effort until now, but expansion might prompt him to consider crowd-funding or seek sponsors, he said.
But this inherently strikes us as unfair. Why is a profit-making business depending on civic-minded volunteers to clean up their mess?

Wednesday, 24 January 2018

No Country for Old Singaporeans

According to one study, there are about 900,000 elderly (age 65 and over) in SG now.

Let's assume that 50% of them are in good financial state - i.e. they can self support. Why 50%? This is just for this thought experiment. IIRC, there is some study that found that about 50% of CPF members have the required minimum sum at 55. And lets say CPF Life is sufficient to care for these 50%.

So about 450,000 don't have CPF Life.

But CPF Life is NOT the only possible source of income in one's retirement. Of these 450,000 who do not have CPF Life (or sufficient CPF Life) payouts, let's assume about 50% of them have other sources of income - say they can rent out a room in their flat, or their children give them money every month. Again, why 50%? Just a figure to work with. Feel free to project higher or lower numbers.

So about 225,000 elderly has no CPF life, and no other sources of income. They need help from the govt.

So, how much does one require to subsist in SG in one's retirement years assuming that one has a roof over one's head (owns HDB flat)? $500? $1000? $1500? $2000?

Sunday, 21 January 2018

Bike sharing scam

Suspicious of bike sharing? Wondering how this business can be viable or sustainable?

Follow the money.

Looking at all those bikes in the bike graveyard, at all the bikes piled high in "bike mountains" (not mountain bikes), and abandoned indiscriminately and you have to ask yourself, how is the bike sharing companies making money? (The short answer is, they are not. The answer in this video is, they made their profits by "selling" the idea of bike sharing, and taking their share of the investments pouring in. Which is probably the simplest part of the equation to understand.)

Some info on their fund-raising:
Mobike... using a newly-raised $600m fund... now has a foothold in Singapore and London, and is penetrating Washington DC as its pilot city in the US.
Ofo, on the other hand, has received $700m new investment for future expansion.

Tuesday, 2 January 2018

NDR 2017 - The Unbearable Lightness of Themes

[Some thoughts on 2017's NDR that I have been sitting on. ]

I still miss LKY's National Day Rallies.

Those covered matters of import.

Unlike the recent NDRs.

This year's (2017) was particularly pathetic, IMHO.
I for one, am underwhelmed by this year's NDR. So apparently mosquitoes were a big enough problem that they deserved to be featured at the NDP. And Diabetes is a big enough problem that it needed to be featured at NDR. And three years ago, MOM and the CPF board were so bad at their communication that the PM had to use the NDR to explain how CPF Life worked. Just as this year, he had so little faith in the HPB that he had to use the NDR to explain why we need a war on Diabetes. Right. What does it say about the PM's confidence in the MOH and the HPB that NDR was co-opted for their public education programme?